Frances Reaves

Providers must earn a seniors trust– or be fired

So often we hear the words, “you get what you pay for.” As a defender of seniors, many of whom are frequently exploited by doctors, I ask – is that really true? If it is, our seniors are in trouble. That is why I counsel my clients that they have to trust the doctor . . . not the price. And therein lies the senior dilemma.

Mom and Dad were big believers in doing what the doctor said and if someone held themselves out as an MD then they should be trusted. After watching my parent’s doctor treat my parents, I fired her. Her plan was to send them to the emergency room for a diagnosis and if she found a pharmaceutical that matched the symptoms she prescribed it.

To fire a “free” Medicare doctor means changing health insurance. Seniors by far choose HMOs as their Medicare insurer because they are “free.” HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. And, does “maintenance” mean maintaining you or your loved one’s health? No, it means the “maintenance” of costs. The name of these organizations should read, Health Dollars Maintenance Organization. A senior’s health is the HMOs last priority.

This drives me nuts. Would you take this type of treatment from a pediatrician? I love children and agree their future is our future but it is the seniors, now living out their life that gave us the opportunity to have these children. Yet, as a culture, we allow seniors to be treated by doctors who place them in assembly lines like cattle going to slaughter.

Well, not my parents or our clients. There are options for good medical care within the Medicare system - you simply have to look. Further, I implore children and spouses of seniors to go on these “medical appointments” because I don’t trust doctors. The student who finished last in his or her medical school is still a doctor . . . and perhaps that’s why they came up with Medicare scams . . . it was easier than being attentive to their patients.

So yes, buyer beware but not of the price, beware of the service. All service providers must earn your trust. Trust is not a right because initials follow their name. And that includes me - H. Frances Reaves, J.D.

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